AUSTIN — Children and teens from across Chicago will have the opportunity to discuss gun violence, unemployment and police relations with elected officials Saturday.
Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin is looking to develop a comprehensive recovery and relief strategy. He said he wants their help in finding a solution to the problems they face everyday. Boykin has partnered with community youth organizations, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) and Ald. Chris Taliaferro (29th) to put on this event. It will take place at the Austin Community Center, 501 N. Central Ave., from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. A hot breakfast will be served at 10 a.m.
"This is an opportunity for young people throughout the City of Chicago to come and to provide their ideas on what they think we ought to be doing as leadership in the congress, in the City Council, on the Cook County Board and in the state legislature," Boykin said.
"I’m hoping somebody’s life will be changed as a result of attending this event Saturday," Boykin said. "I don’t want to be here 30 years from now talking about the crisis of gun violence in Chicago among youth or talking about youth unemployment at the high levels they are now."
Boykin wants to address the high youth unemployment rate in Chicago Saturday. The University of Illinois at Chicago published a report that said about half of black 20- to 24-year-old men are out of work and school in Chicago.
"It really underscores the crisis that exists in too many communities," Boykin said. "Nothing stops a bullet like a job. There is a crisis across the city of Chicago so we have to figure out a way to embrace this group of individuals and figure out a way to get them on the path of leading a greater quality of life."
Cook County Clerk David Orr will be on hand to administer voter registrar training.
The summit will conclude with a basketball game between area youth and community leaders. The youths will play against community leaders and police.
Some of the community partners include: Daughters of Englewood, Young and Powerful, Leaders Network Youth Division, Fathers Who Care, NAACP West Side Youth Division and Kids off the Block.
Boykin said it's important for everyone in Chicago to work together.
"It’s only in building partnerships and building bridges across the city that we can really have maximum impact on these issues confronting our young people," he said.
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